The Hack Manifesto – Strictly Come Taxes

We know that money is required to run a nation state. It’s kind of nice to live in a country with roads and I suppose government workers need tea stations. After all we are British. Yet since the introduction of the Poor Tax in 1597 it feels as if we haven’t yet had a fair distribute of wealth. We have been living with Pitt the Younger income tax and its variations for some time but much energy is spent in managing the system and not embracing the system. We should be embracing taxes in a big hug. If there is anything that Brit’s are good at then it’s devising a good system and then celebrating it. Think Wimbledon tickets or Strictly Come Dancing. Taxes should be no different. So here is our proposal – Strictly Come Taxes

The Banding

We propose 5 self explanatory banding with the following tax rate ;

  • Arsehole  70%
  • Rotter   50%
  • Drinking Buddy  30 %
  • Salt of the Earth 20 %
  • National Treasure 5 %

The Formula

Each tax year a simple if-then-else formula is applied on your current status and this placed you into the one of the three bands Rotter, Drinking Buddy or Salt of the Earth. This is much like a Hogwarts Sorting Hat.

   your income is 5* > junior employee
   or income is > 200,000 pounds   
   you are a rotter 
     you have an honour from the queen 
     you are Salt of the Earth 
     you are a Drinking Buddy

The Vote

In addition a pay for use telephone voting system will be set up to allow anyone in the world to vote on being a National Treasure or an Arsehole. The votes determine which 5% of the population would be moved to the extreme banding. The cost of the vote would cover running the operation as well as raising significant additional revenue for the government.


Just like our A-level results and the Rich List we shall have yearly publications for everyone’s tax codes ranked from number one Arsehole to most loved National Treasure.

Costs of Technology

One question that has been raised in consultation is the cost of implementation. The cost of setting up a telephone voting service is relatively straight forward and we simply need to engage one of the many organisation that service current reality TV. Make it their problem to scale and manage the service. All we need is the monthly reports.

The information for the if then else code outlined above can gained directly from the current tax return system. It does assume that if you have a honour from the Queen the tax office addresses you with the correct title. Shame on them if it doesn’t.

The real issue is the not the technology as this is rather simple but the process of Government procurement which may take weeks and months to organise the dull and transparent paperwork. The easiest way will be for me to teach the treasury how to code over weekend and then run an extreme agile sprint for week over parliament recess. Operational in  a week.


Public sector broadcaster such BBC would be obliged to do a regular program with elements taken from SPOTY and SCD where individuals rankings are highlighted and all the national treasures paraded. The format can be sold to other broadcaster for a licence fee again to raise more revenue.

National Treasures

Public Services such as the BBC, NHS or the Home Office would be encouraged to employ as many National Treasures. As these individuals pay less tax and they wouldn’t need to be paid more that other individuals.


Say you are Salt of the Earth 98787 because you have a knighthood for your nobel prize and none of your students have cared to vote for you either up or down. Then say you do a speech which upsets the internet and perhaps women. Votes flood in and rather than loosing your job you are simply bumped up the tax system expected to contribute more financially to society and making the state a ton of money from votes based from the outraged.  Over time your students may rally and vote to take your status back or you may get stuck in the new banding as you say more silly things and people continue to vote for you.

Alternatively say you are Arsehole 34567 you have a choice to leave Britain and make tons of money elsewhere in a cheaper tax system. While sat abroad you can vote for your former friends in Britain encouraging your friends to join you. You will enjoy the fame of television shows on your behaviour giving you the Made in Chelsea fame you have always wanted.

If you are on cusp of a band and getting married you could ask for  your wedding gifts to be a vote – moving you a better tax band temporality while you go through a costly act of wedlock.

Conclusion – Change the Tax System

As you can see this very well thought out system by my good friend Anne Currie and I. It is the ideal way to raise taxes in today’s Britain and should be adopted immediately. Engaging the world in our debate. Only a small elite is subject to voting and importantly the systems is transparent and orderly. Everything a British system should be. In addition its televised. As is everything successful about Britain today.